Checklist for Actor's Text
YOUR stage directions: emotions on the left, motions on the right.

PreActing? Don't speak before you established the exposition!

Draw the floor plan on the back. Must use all 9 squares.

Indicate the main prop.

3 levels of voice, horizontal and vertical movement.

What takes place in pauses? Write it in.

Indicate the pauses with "/" (period or coma?) "//" -- beat of action? "///" and longer -- "dramatic pause" (the structural changes in thought-feeling).

Use the different color markers.

You have to have at least three drafts (retyped).

Each prop must be used three times (min): hat, papers, book. They are the symbols: the book is Adrey's past, the papers -- his present. Every time he touches one or another -- emotional changes (this is what we call visualization and physicalization.

Dramatic Structure

Indicated the exposition (gold), climax and resolution (blue). Do you agree with this breakdown? What is yours?

Objective and Obstacle = Conflict. What is Anrey's Objective? What is the Obstacle? Write it down. How do you plan to express it?

Inner conflict: since both objective and obstacle in him.

Sitiation

5W's: What, Who, Where, When, Why?

Discribute the addresses: "himself" is too general. 1. Himself in the past. 2. Wife. 3. Sisters. 4. God. (Where are the details to represent the addresses?) His present are the papers, the hat. God is above. Sisters -- left? Wife -- right?

Bold for climatic moments.

"Key words" -- you can retype in CAPs. Each stage statement must have ONE key word, see the second draft. Again, the stresses (key words) must be your interpretation.

How many "rewrites" do you have to make? Tolstoy rewrote "War and Peace" twelve times. Add, delete, change -- you are the AUTHOR of this PERFORMANCE TEXT. If I don't know or not sure, I leave the emphasis words and the pauses, movement, directions -- for the next round.

Andrey, 3 Sisters, Monologue Study

Act II
[Where is he coming from? To where? Why? "The Moment Before"! The breakdown on WHEN i will do with the next monologue.]

ANDREY. Good evening, my good man. What is it? [louder]. I say, you have come late. It's past eight o'clock... Dear old man, how strangely life changes and deceives you! Today I was so bored and had nothing to do, so I picked up this book -- old university lectures -- and I laughed... Good heavens! I'm the secretary of the District Council of which mister Protopopov is the chairman. I am the secretary, and the most I can hope for is to become a member of the Board! Me, a member of the local District Council, while I dream every night I'm professor at the Moscow University -- a distinguished man, of whom all world is proud!
(pause)
[to the mirror] If you did hear well, perhaps I shouldn't talk to you. I must talk to somebody, and, my wife, she doesn't understand me. My sisters I'm somehow afraid of -- I'm afraid they will laugh at me... Look, I don't drink, I do not not like restaurants, but how I'd enjoy sitting at some small bar at this moment! You sit in a huge room at a restaurant; you know no one and no one knows you, and at the same time you don't feel a stranger... But here you know everyone and everyone knows you, and yet you are a stranger -- a stranger... A stranger, and lonely...
[ANDREY to himself in the mirror]. You can go. Take care of yourself. Go... [a pause]. Gone [a ring]. Yes, it's work... [goes into his own room]

All right, let's try the first draft (my interpretation, you do yours).

First Draft (basic dramatic)

Watching himself in the mirror, getting dressed to go out (restaurant). Imaginary dialogue with his other self (from the past or even future). "//" and "///" pauses must long enough to be the remarks we do not hear.

ANDREY. Good evening, my good man.// What is it? [louder].// I say, you have come late. / It's past eight o'clock... // (It is not the first time he is talking to himself. Nobody to talk with. Not with his wife, no). Dear old man, / how strangely life changes and deceives you! / Today I was so bored and had nothing to do, / so I picked up THIS book -- / old university lectures (He has this book in his hands). -- / and I laughed... / Good heavens! / I'm the secretary of the District Council of which mister Protopopov (His wife, Natasha, sleeps with Protopopov). is the chairman. / I am the secretary, / and the most I can hope for / is to become a member of the Board! // Me, / a member of the local District Council, /// while I dream every night // I'm professor at the Moscow University / -- (Could we see the difference between the two Andreys?) a distinguished man, of whom all world is proud!
(pause) (When Chekhov writes "pause" -- he really means it!)
[to the mirror] (smiles?) If you did hear well, perhaps I shouldn't talk to you. // I must talk to somebody, / and, / my wife, // she doesn't understand me. (Remembers, that she or they could hear him, change it the whisper, which he forgets to keep, because he wants to cry and scream). // My sisters // I'm somehow afraid of -- I'm afraid they will laugh at me... // Look, I don't drink, I do not like restaurants, but how I'd enjoy sitting at some small bar at this moment! / You sit in a huge room at a restaurant; / you know no one and no one knows you, / and at the same time you don't feel a stranger... /// But here you know everyone and everyone knows you, and yet you are a stranger -- // a stranger... /// A stranger, and lonely... /// (Listens to some voices, noises in the house? His own thought? He is a stranger, it's the verdict. Nothing else to say.)
[ANDREY to himself in the mirror]. You can go. / Take care of yourself. // Go... [a pause He doesn't go, stands. Here at least he can talk to himself.]. // Gone [a ring]. (He has the papers in his hands, the council stuff). Yes, it's work... [goes into his own room. He has to undress, puts down his hat. Goes, stops, looks back at the mirror.]

Draw the basic graph for this monologue (Y -- action, X -- time)

conflict
^   CLIMAX
I     /\
I    /  \
I   /    \
I  /      \
I /        \
I/          \ Resolution
--------------------------> time

Time your monologue. Every second of it counts!

Try it. Do it in class. Make notes -- and corrections. Go to the next, more detailed draft.

Second Draft (on sentencing)

Watching himself in the mirror, getting dressed to go out (restaurant). Imaginary dialogue with his other self (from the past or even future). "//" and "///" pauses must long enough to be the remarks we do not hear.

ANDREY. Good evening, MY good man.// What IS it? [louder]. // I say, you have come LATE. / It's PAST eight o'clock... // (It is not the first time he is talking to himself. Nobody to talk with. Not with his wife, no). Dear OLD man, / how STRANGELY life changes and deceives you! / Today I was SO bored and had nothing to do, / so I picked up this book -- / old university lectures (He has this book in his hands). -- / and I LAUGHED... / Good heavens! / I'm THE secretary of the District Council / of which MISTER Protopopov / (His wife, Natasha, sleeps with Protopopov). is THE chairman. / I am the SECRETARY, / and the most I can HOPE for / is to become a MEMBER of the Board! // Me, / a member of the local DISTRICT Council, /// while I dream EVERY night // I'm professor at the MOSCOW University // -- (Could we see the difference between the two Andreys?) a DISTINGUISHED man, / of whom all WORLD is proud!
(pause) (When Chekhov writes "pause" -- he really means it!)
[to the mirror] (smiles?) If YOU did hear well, / perhaps "I" shouldn't talk to you. // I must talk to SOMEBODY, / and, / my WIFE, // she doesn't UNDERSTAND me. (Remembers, that she or they could hear him, change it the whisper, which he forgets to keep, because he wants to cry and screm). My SISTERS / I'm somehow AFRAID of -- // I'm afraid they will LAUGH at me... // Look, / I don't drink, / I don't like restaurants, / but HOW I'd enjoy sitting at some small bar at this moment! / You sit in a HUGE room at a restaurant; / you know NO ONE and no one knows you, / and at the same time you don't feel a STRANGER... /// But HERE you know everyone and everyone knows you, / and yet you ARE a stranger -- // a STRANGER... /// A stranger, and lonely... /// (Listens to some voices, noises in the house? His own thought? He is a stranger, it's the verdict. Nothing else to say.)
[ANDREY to himself in the mirror]. YOU can go. / Take care of yourself. // Go... [a pause He doesn't go, stands. Here at least he can talk to himself.]. // Gone [a ring]. (He has the papers in his hands, the council stuff). Yes, it's work... [goes into his own room. He has to undress, puts down his hat. Goes, stops, looks back at the mirror.]

Third Draft (on movement)

ANDREY. Good evening, / MY good man.// What IS it? [louder]. // I say, you have come LATE. / It's PAST eight o'clock... // (It is not the first time he is talking to himself. Nobody to talk with. Not with his wife, no). Dear OLD man, / how STRANGELY life changes and deceives you! / Today I was SO bored and had nothing to do, / so I picked up this book -- / old university lectures (He has this book in his hands). -- / and I LAUGHED... / Good heavens! / I'm THE secretary of the District Council / of which MISTER Protopopov / (His wife, Natasha, sleeps with Protopopov). is THE chairman. / I am the SECRETARY, / and the most I can HOPE for / is to become a MEMBER of the Board! // Me, / a member of the local DISTRICT Council, /// while I dream EVERY night // I'm professor at the MOSCOW University // -- (Could we see the difference between the two Andreys?) a DISTINGUISHED man, / of whom all WORLD is proud!
(pause) (When Chekhov writes "pause" -- he really means it!)

[to the mirror] (smiles?) If YOU did hear well, / perhaps "I" shouldn't talk to you. // I must talk to SOMEBODY, / and, / my WIFE, // she doesn't UNDERSTAND me. (Remembers, that she or they could hear him, change it the whisper, which he forgets to keep, because he wants to cry and screm). My SISTERS / I'm somehow AFRAID of -- // I'm afraid they will LAUGH at me... // Look, / I don't drink, / I don't like restaurants, / but HOW I'd enjoy sitting at some small bar at this moment! / You sit in a HUGE room at a restaurant; / you know NO ONE and no one knows you, / and at the same time you don't feel a STRANGER... /// But HERE you know everyone and everyone knows you, / and yet you ARE a stranger -- // a STRANGER... /// A stranger, and lonely... /// (Listens to some voices, noises in the house? His own thought? He is a stranger, it's the verdict. Nothing else to say.)
[ANDREY to himself in the mirror]. YOU can go. / Take care of yourself. // Go... [a pause He doesn't go, stands. Here at least he can talk to himself.]. // Gone [a ring]. (He has the papers in his hands, the council stuff). Yes, it's work... [goes into his own room. He has to undress, puts down his hat. Goes, stops, looks back at the mirror.]

Read the mono pages first. When your work on your performance text, read it again. Remember, nothing, but the choices! "Choice" means that you have more than one idea. Have many! Try them in performance. No choices, no TEXT, just a noise coming from you (messages we can't understand, because the sender doesn't make them).

Andrey's Room (study, door?)

Sisters (stage right) ------- ANDREY ----------- Wife (SL)

I---mirror---I

****** PUBLIC ********

The mirror could be established by actor even without a frame.

Mark and number the positions in correlation to the text. Connect them all by lines (what is the main design of the motion for this monologue?)


Futurist Poetry Style of Breakdown

One line-sample:

ANDREY

Good evening,

/

MY good man.

//

What IS it?

Instead of "/" write in your ACTION directons.


Shot-by-Shot Breakdown

Where and when do you want me to be focused? Your face? Your hands? Which part of your body or place on stage.... Mirror -- the dream world, and the past, and Moscow. how can you express it?

Since we can't go close up (CU) right away, we always start with the wide shot (WS or Long Shot -- LS). [MS] -- medium shot (above the belt).

[ LS ] Entrance, pre-acting, establishing shot

[ MS ] Establishing the set, mirror, the stage business, play prop, the robe, the papers and the book.

[ CU ] First line -- speak! (if ready, if not, continue the preacting).


Summary

How far do you want to take it? Does he cry? Confession? Prayer? Cries and falls on his knees (when)? With his head down to the floor (vertical levels). Tears up the book, the business papers? Comes out in his wife's robe, he is not a man anymore. He ever was. But where is Andrey-boy?

Too much work? Forget it, man! Profession is about WORK! We pay for the work, for something you can do and we can't.

You have to bring them, non-existing souls, to life! It takes a lot of work, days of creation and the knowledge how to do it. That is why playwright needs you, director, public -- do your work, actor! I need the performance, not this "reading" the text! We can read it ourselves, at home.

Questions

If you don't have questions about your character, your role, play, set, costume, prop -- you are in trouble. big trouble. It means that you have no questions about carrer. How could it be? How could you have one, if you do not this role as a step up? What are you doing on stage then?

Homework

That is your homework. go, do it.

Notes

There is no way I can put the tasks on the one monologue. I have to continue on the others, but from where we stop here.


@2000 The text was modified for the UAF production. He is talking to himself. AA

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